Bawer on Greenblatt: A Response

Though I have not read anything he has written this century, Stephen Greenblatt has had an outsized impact on my academic career. The New Historicism he spawned granted permission to incorporate the ‘original’… Continue reading

Now Is the Time to Stop It

In a speech to an American Legion gathering, a lieutenant who had lost his leg in service spoke against the alt-right. He argued, among other things, that “private vengeance and outrages can be… Continue reading

The Triumph of the Lie?

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s new book seems to be rubbing a number of Trump supporters the wrong way. Flake, it turns out, is a real and principled conservative, and that seems to make… Continue reading

Where Journalism Shouldn’t Be

Satire doesn’t need explication. But satire, on occasion, can also provide a useful starting point for clarifying poins. Erik Wemple’s column on Chris Cillizza’s Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) does just that. Cillizza… Continue reading

Legacy of a Lynching

An article in The New York Times, “Hangman’s Noose, Symbol of Racial Animus, Keeps Cropping Up” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Caitlin Dickerson, reopens a family wound I’ve tried to cauterize a number… Continue reading

Chapter One: From Under Trump’s “Landslide”

The book can be purchased here. What Is This ‘America’? What is this “America” David Brooks was talking about when he wrote the following?: When America is growing and happy, the country is… Continue reading

Introduction: From Under Trump’s Landslide

[The book can be purchased here.] Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is also an entertainer and a promoter of the first rank—and he will rule that way: He will… Continue reading

Democrats: Bring Your Policies into the Light

The Democrats are not going to win in 2020 simply on an anti-Trump agenda. Yet, since their traumatizing defeat last November, all they have done is help grease the skids under Trump’s Titanic… Continue reading

Politics and Journalists’ Language

Why does journalism continue to fail so completely in its coverage of the outrages of Trump and the new age of American politics? Why does its language continue to provide cover for radical… Continue reading

Who Condescends to Whom?

What’s the difference between the two sides of white America? Can we write off one because we haven’t been able to convince it of our own (white or not) superiority? Because we see… Continue reading